One of Maui’s many hidden and delightful gems, is Maui’s historic Haiku Mill. Many of Maui’s residents have no idea that Haiku Mill is even in existance, myself included.
A bit hard to find, one travels along the country road in Haiku then down a road that you are sure is not the correct way! You pass by the hidden and gorgeous expansive tree surrounded Baldwin estate on your right and just past that on the left behind an unobtrusive gate, is the historical landmark. It is a piece of old Maui as most visitors have never seen. Haiku Mill is an amazing property emanating an old time Hawaiian/European plantation feel. It is still a partial ruin and parts have been renovated while keeping the original structures. Along with the very tasteful decor, many of the furnishings are beautiful rusty original pieces picked up in France from the 1800s.
Upon entering the property, one walks up to the open air reception area, yards of white canvas curtains hang from the 30 ft tall beams enhancing the charm of the large sitting area which is called The Courtyard. Matching white canvas couches with vintage tables create and old world meets new effect. Simply gorgeous.
Walking towards the old mill, is the banyan tree with hanging lights sparkling from its many branches especially enchanting in the twilight.
Just past that sits the The Cane House – a beautifully restored worker residence that harkens back to the plantation life of days gone by.
The Cane House
Walking back down The Cane House stairs and to the right you can see the entrance to the Haiku Mill. The mill is alit with many candles, illuminating the vines that intertwine above. A gorgeous crystal chandelier showcases the Mill’s spacious and beautifully decorated interior.
Along Maui’s northeastern coast, caressed by the trade winds, two acres of historic ruins and lush tropical gardens rise dramatically against a Hawaiian sky. The Haiku Sugar Mill, also known as Pua Le‘a (“blossoming passion” in Hawaiian), blends the stunning natural beauty of Hawaii with the Old World elegance of Europe.
In 1858, when the Haiku Sugar Company was chartered, construction began on the Mill. Upon completion three years later in 1861, the Mill processed its very first crop using the leading edge technology of the time: a steam engine to grind the cane. This marked the beginning of nearly 20 years of successful sugar cane production in Haiku. In 1879, after years as a hub of sugar production, the Mill was abandoned, left for over a century to gently decay into ruin. The vines and lush vegetation grew and covered the thick stone walls, turning the Mill into the beautiful structure we see today. 20 years ago an immense restoration effort to revive the true spirit of the Mill began. They transformed the abandoned ruins from a decrepit sugar factory into the blossoming hidden treasure it is today and renamed it the simpler, more poetic “Haiku Mill”.